But I had to have it! Yes, yes!
Warning: image-heavy post ahoy!
Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition
Nintendo Switch あつまれ どうぶつの森セット (Nintendo Switch Atsumare Doubutsu no Mori Set)
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Inspired by the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this Switch bundle includes a specially designed console and dock and exclusively colored Joy-Cons. The game is not included.
Like a lot of people (and I do mean A LOT), when this Switch was first revealed, I fell in love with it. It’s not like it is the first Switch to have a special design (there was a Super Smash Bros. one and a Pokémon one). However, this is the first limited edition to feature a revised Switch with better battery life. However, even if you liked those designs/franchises better, no doubt the Animal Crossing: New Horizons version has the color.
I was a little surprised there wasn’t a special Switch for Pokémon Sword/Shield, but I guess Nintendo figured the game would be enough of a big seller. (Well, there was a Switch Lite, but I don’t think most people should go or will go for the Lite.) It’s also strange to have a special edition like this released a) without the game and b) a week early. But I’m actually glad since I like physical media (and Animal Crossing: New Horizons has some good preorder bonuses), so that meant I didn’t have to ditch the digital download code.
But the adorableness combined with the supply side interruptions means that it was highly sought-after. Surprisingly, the system wasn’t going for as high as I expected to on resale sites. Not sure if the current pandemic is the cause or if Nintendo managed to get more made than people thought. It was completely sold out at most stores all the way up until release day.
So, anyway, here we go.
Cute design on the back of the box. Even with the note on the front, still be easy for someone to assume they get a game with it since, you know, you don’t think that an electronic with animals and a boatcraft on the cover = just a big ad for a game that’s not included. Otherwise, inside’s the same.
The Joy-Cons. I have to say I think the pastel coloring is amazing on the Switch. While most non-black Joy-Cons have been focused on the wilder side of the color palette with neons, but this just gives you a sense of fun and relaxation. From what I looked up, I don’t think previous versions had special straps. That was a nice touch. I do wish they could have put a leaf or something on the Joy-Cons though. Something that when you look down, you can see it and smile since it’s cute. Oh, well, not like other Joy-Cons have had decorations. I had some red thumb covers which I got in a kit before, and I still am using them since they make the analog sticks feel better even though the neon red looks absolutely hideous with these Joy-Cons.
Which brings me to the hard decision I had to make… what accessories to get. I had some obviously since I already owned a Switch. But the Switch library has grown dramatically, and I’m looking to have longer gaming sessions. Grips are highly recommended, but it also seems dumb to buy something that would partially or fully cover the back of the console. Because if the back can’t be seen, why buy a special edition? Some reviews also warn of scratching the console and/or Joy-Cons, and I didn’t want something that I would have to keep pulling on/off. There are only a few cases that have room for a Switch-in-grip. As for the dockable cases, according to reviews, a lot of them aren’t dock-friendly! A dockable case also meant very little in the way of improving ergonomics of the Switch. So, you know, catch-22.
Ultimately, I went with this set, although this was my second choice. The Nyko one has a front cover, but I didn’t like so much of the back being exposed. I ended up really liking the added lip on the Joy-Con case. It adds a slight amount of thickness (about a millimeter or two, and the added bottom lip helps alleviate some of the complaints about discomfort. The plastic covering also gives the Joy-Cons a nice firm feel with the hard plastic versus the matte, thin Joy-Con. I actually ended up ordering a second set for my other set of Joy-Cons because of it. Of course, like all Joy-Con covers, this means I can’t put it in the Joy-Con grip. That won’t be an issue for me, as I have a Pro controller. Eventually, I’d also like to get the K.K. Slider controller or the Nooklings controller to match my set. Not a high priority though.
I took one picture of the console itself as I took it out, but then I immediately put the cover on the back to protect it. Well, only after I touched it as I put the case on. So that’s why you can see my phone being reflected off the Switch. The console is pretty matte even though it does have a design on it. The pattern is cute, and the waves filling the blank space help draw your eyes to the little islands. I especially like the little lighthouse in the middle.
Now, the centerpiece: the dock. Tom and the Nooklings are absolutely adorable. It’s a little hard to tell from the pictures, but it’s like a rich ivory color. It’s more than just a white tint. The dock matches the Joy-Cons, which again, is a nice touch. I do wonder how many people have their docks set up in a way to show off the design. I know I have it so that the front light is facing forward, so poor Tom, Timmy, and Tommy can’t be seen! Which kind of defeats the purpose. I’m also debating on whether to get a case to keept it in, only setting it up when I’m playing with it a lot so I can keep the adorableness at 100%.
The downside to the pastel coloring is that the Switch itself looks out of place. All this pale blue and green… and then, WHAM! A big dose of black. I’m sure someday they’ll have a differently-colored Switch once sales have flattened, but there’s a part of me that wants to take a paintbrush and put some blue and green on it! I should have checked before I put it away, but it seemed easier to dock than I remember? I did look it up, and it seems to be a combination of manufacturing differences + changes over the years. I was really worried that between my screen protector and this dockable case, it would be a really tight fight, but it was smooth. Something to consider if you have an older Switch and have been going back and forth on whether the improved battery life on the v2 alone is worth it.
For people who have been wanting the upgraded v2 Switch for that extra battery life, the cuteness is a good incentive to upgrade. For non-Animal Crossing fans, though, hopefully their next special edition takes some cues from this one, as the coloring and designs are excellent.
Also, Hori, can we get all those awesome Japanese Animal Crossing accessories over here? Kthx.